of or relating to people of Latin American origin or descent, especially those living in the United States (used in place of the masculine form Latino, the feminine form Latina, or the gender-binary form Latin@): Community members celebrated at the Latinx Pride Parade.
a person of Latin American origin or descent, especially one living in the United States (used in place of the masculine form Latino, the feminine form Latina, or the gender-binary form Latin@): As a first-generation Latinx, I struggled to reconcile my cultural and gender identities.
When we borrow Spanish words into English, sometimes only the masculine form is used. This is particularly true for adjectives. Thus, a female pop star of Latin American origin may be described in English as “a Latino singer” rather than as “a Latina singer.”
Even in Spanish, the masculine form is used in the plural to describe mixed-sex groups. So, if you were speaking in Spanish about a group of Mexican men ( los mexicanos ) and Mexican women ( las mexicanas ) sitting around a table, Spanish grammar would name the mixed group using the masculine form ( los mexicanos ). If you wanted to specify that women were included in this group, you would have to explicitly say “the Mexican men and women” ( los mexicanos y las mexicanas ).
Sometimes in English a forward slash (/) is used at the end of a Spanish loanword to show that a group includes both men and women or boys and girls: The union is working to improve the lives of migrant Mexicanos/as in the agricultural industry. University enrollment among Latino/a students increased dramatically in the last decade. The o/a slash may also be represented with the @ character, as an illustrative way of combining the letters o and a: The union is working to improve the lives of migrant Mexican@s in the agricultural industry. University enrollment among Latin@ students increased dramatically in the last decade.
More recently, the character x has been used to replace the gendered inflections -o and -a, the forward slash -o/a spelling, and the variant ending -@. The spellings Latinx or Chicanx are particularly embraced by groups that wish to include members whose gender identities are nonbinary. By respecting the gendered grammar of Spanish in our English use of these loanwords, biological sex and binary gender identity are imposed onto English discourse in ways that otherwise would not have occurred. The -@ and -x variants for these terms offer more inclusive options for these labels of ethnic identity borrowed from Spanish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023